AT&T Wireless Review 2022: Plans, Pricing & More

The AT&T Wireless network is one of the most popular cell phone services in the US. Users can choose from a number of plans, meaning there are options for the most minimal of users all the way through to high usage business customers.

However, AT&T Wireless is best for families or other groups of people as you need to rent at least four lines to get the best contracts.
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Unlimited Premium

$85/mo. for a single line, $40/mo. for 6+ lines
$ 85 Monthly
  • Unlimited Premium data
  • 50 GB Hotspot data
  • 4K UHD streaming available

Learn more

Unlimited Extra

$75/mo. for a single line, $35/mo. for 6+ lines
$ 75 Monthly
  • 50GB Premium data
  • 15 GB Hotspot data
  • Standard-definition streaming

Learn more

Unlimited Starter

$65/mo. for a single line, $30/mo. for 6+ lines
$ 65 Monthly
  • No Premium data
  • 3 GB Hotspot data
  • Standard-definition streaming

Learn more

Value Plus

$50 per line
$ 50 Monthly
  • Unlimited data
  • No Hotspot data
  • Standard-definition streaming

Learn more

I’ve been researching AT&T Wireless extensively to find this out, and today, you can join me as I cover the following subjects:

So let’s get right into it. 

AT&T Wireless Pros and Cons

The best and worst bits about AT&T Wireless are as follows.

Pros

  • Plenty of plans to choose from
  • No contract without handset
  • Reduced prices on handset contracts
  • Vast 5G coverage
  • Great for international calls
  • Easy to get help thanks to stores across the US

Cons

  • Pretty expensive compared to some of the competition
  • Soft data caps throttle 5G speeds on some plans
  • HotSpot allowances are quite restrictive

AT&T Wireless Overview

AT&T Wireless is a standalone network service that provides 3G, 4G and 5G data coverage (as well as talk and text, of course!) across the majority of the US. 

You don’t need to be an existing customer of AT&T to get a Wireless contract. It’s available to everyone.

There are various plans available depending on the amount of data you want to use, whether you want international calling and a few other factors. We’ll go through each of those plans and who they’re best for shortly. 

AT&T Wireless is a pretty strong option for those who want to make international calls, and those who are planning on taking up contracts with a few people, e.g. a whole family.

But, there are other groups of people who AT&T Wireless will suit very well. For example, there are specific deals for teachers, seniors, and military personnel. And even that’s not all.

We’ll be covering all these deals and showing you how to get the plan that’s right for you throughout this article. 




The AT&T Wireless Plans

We’re going to get started with the three AT&T Wireless Unlimited plans as they are by far the most popular. That’s because they offer the best value for money for most people. 

Firstly, here’s a quick look at the main features of each of the three plans [1]:

NameHotspotPremium Data*Additional Perks
Unlimited Premium50GBUnlimitedUnlimited talk, text and data in the US, Mexico, Canada and 19 Latin American countries plus 4K streaming
Unlimited Extra15GB50GBUnlimited talk, text and data in the US, Mexico and Canada
Unlimited Starter3GBNoneUnlimited talk, text and data in the US, Mexico and Canada

*Premium Data refers to extra high speed 5G data that can never be throttled, even if you’re in a busy area. It’d be a neat thing to have if you live in a busy city!

Now, we’re going to take a look at each of the plans and the costs of them depending on how many lines you take up at one time. [2]

NamePrice with 1 linePrice with 2 linesPrice with 3 linesPrice with 4 linesPrice with 5 linesPrice with 6-10 lines
Unlimited Premium$85$75$60$50$45$40
Unlimited Extra$75$65$50$40$35$35
Unlimited Starter$65$60$45$35$30$30

By the way, there are a few additional fees for each of these prices that you will need to consider when you’re budgeting. We’ll cover them in a later section of this article. 

You can actually mix and match the AT&T Wireless Unlimited plans, by the way. You and your family don’t all have to go with the same one in order to get the reduced prices. 

All the AT&T Unlimited plans come with a few perks, too. Sign up for any of them and you’ll get access to the following, free of charge:

  • 5G coverage: All the plans feature 5G whenever it’s available. Where this is available varies from region to region, so stay tuned for the section of this article that covers that side of things. 
  • ActiveArmor mobile security: You’ll get excellent mobile security from AT&T including features such as Spam Call Blocking, plus for Extra and Premium you’ll get Public Wi-Fi Protection, Identity Monitoring and more. 

If you don’t feel like Unlimited is right for you, there are a couple more options available. They are [3]:

NameHotspotPremium DataAdditional Perks
Value Plus NoYes5G access, standard definition streaming, unlimited texting from US to 200+  countries, unlimited talk, text and data in Mexico, Canada and the US
4GB PlanYesNoStandard definition streaming, unlimited texting from US to 200+ countries, unlimited talk, text and data in Mexico, Canada and the US

Both of these plans also include the ActiveArmor mobile security I mentioned earlier, by the way.

Device Plans With AT&T Wireless 

If you’re in the market for a new phone, it could benefit you to wrap this in with your AT&T Wireless plan. It’s possible to get a huge range of smartphones with AT&T. You should be able to find the cell phone you’re looking for with them!

AT&T currently has a reasonable range of good deals for the latest ranges of handsets, and some for older, more affordable devices. For example, at the time of writing, it’s possible to get up to $800 off the new iPhone 14 Pro. 

Head over to the website to find out the kinds of deals you can get on these smartphones at any time. 

Here are a list of some of the phones you can get with AT&T

  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • Google Pixel 7 Pro
  • Samsung Galaxy A13 5G
  • Motorola edge
  • AT&T Fusion 5G

AT&T Wireless Add-Ons

So, what else can you get on top of your AT&T Wireless plans? There are a few extra bits you can bolt on if you need to.

Note that not all of these add-ons will be available for all of the plans. So before you get too excited, you might want to check in with an AT&T specialist to find out. They are all definitely available for AT&T Unlimited though!

  • Tablets: Share your data with your tablet for a cost of $20 per month
  • Smartwatches: Get connected to your wearable tech for an additional $10 per month
  • Connected Car: Turn your car into a Wi-Fi hotspot for $20 per month
  • Harman Spark: Location Based Services and more are provided with this handy tool for $25 per month

Additional Deals for AT&T

There are a couple of extra deals from AT&T Wireless that all customers can enjoy. Keep an eye on the following if you feel like you might qualify. 

  • Trade-in: Trading in your older device with AT&T is a great way to save money. Eligible trade-ins can currently land you the new iPhone 14 Pro from as low as $5.56 per month.
  • Bill credits: AT&T will give you up to $250 in bill credits when you switch to Wireless and bring your phone over from another provider. They’ll also waive any activation fees for the contract. 
  • Bundles: Get up to 25% off your monthly Wireless plan if you’re already an AT&T Fiber customer. Or, get a reward card of up to $300 if you’re a Wireless customer taking up Fiber. 

Of course, these deals could be subject to change at any time, so it’s important to keep an eye on the website to find out what’s available. 

Deals for Specific AT&T Wireless Customers

If you’re a senior, teacher, member of the military or veteran, you can get further discounts. They’re as follows:

  • Seniors: Those over 55 and living in the state of Florida can get two lines for just $40 per month with unlimited talk, text and data. 
  • Military and veterans: This group of people and their families are able to get 25% off their monthly bills when they sign up for four or more lines.
  • Teachers: All teachers for colleges, Universities and high schools can either get 25% off their cell phone plans or take advantage of specific phone deals from time to time. 

AT&T Wireless Additional Charges

Here are a few more fees that you’ll need to pay on top of your regular bill as an AT&T Wireless customer. 

  • No Autopay and Paperless Billing: All the prices on the website, and as quoted so far in this article, include a $5 ‘discount’ for paperless billing and Autopay. If you don’t want both of these, you’ll need to add on that additional monthly charge. 
  • Activation or Upgrade fee: You may have to pay up to $50 per month when starting your new contract.
  • Administrative fee: A $1.99 fee applies to all bills every month.
  • Late payment fee: If you miss a payment, an automatic $7 charge will be added to your account. All the more reason to add Autopay.
  • Number change fee: If you need to change your phone number for any reason, it’ll cost you $35.

You can find out more about the additional fees from AT&T as well as how to end your contract in this article

AT&T Wireless Plans vs the Competition

Most mobile network providers in the US are available in much of the country. Of course, signal strength might vary from area to area, so this is something to consider if you’re in a more rural zone. But most people should be able to consider a few providers.

So, here’s a quick overview of the competition for your consideration. 

AT&T Wireless vs Cox Mobile

Cox Mobile beats AT&T Wireless in these areas:

  • More affordable
  • Better coverage with Verizon

On the flip side, AT&T Wireless is better with:

  • A wider range of phones
  • More plans to choose from
  • Available to everyone

Cox’s mobile service, aptly titled Cox Mobile, is a pretty limited service. Plus, it’s only available for Cox internet customers. So, there’s not a lot of point in looking too closely at this one!

That being said, it offers good prices for those customers. And it uses Verizon’s coverage, meaning you’ll get pretty good 4G and 5G in most of the country.

However, the phone availability here is very poor. You’ll only be able to choose from a small handful of devices.

AT&T Wireless vs Xfinity Mobile

Comcast Xfinity Mobile would be a better option for those looking for the following:

  • Lower priced plan for unlimited data
  • Less throttling after soft data cap

However, you’ll get the following benefits from AT&T Wireless over Xfinity:

  • Wider range of phones
  • More plans to choose from

Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile is a strong contender, although it doesn’t offer quite as much choice in terms of phones as AT&T does. 

However, it does offer pretty good value for its SIM only plans and may work out more affordable for those taking up one, two or three lines. The prices seem to level out at the four line mark.

AT&T Wireless vs Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is top stuff, and it beats AT&T Wireless in the following ways:

  • Better availability
  • Less hidden fees

Although, you will get more of the following with AT&T:

  • More flexible contracts
  • Lower prices on some of the plans

The closest competition to AT&T Wireless overall is Verizon Wireless. And they’re pretty neck and neck.

Verizon Wireless and AT&T Wireless offer very similar phone availability and coverage. Plus, the prices are quite similar for the most part.

We recommend taking a close look at both of these providers. Which is best really depends on what you’re specifically looking for with your next cell phone plan. 

Availability for AT&T Wireless

Good news! AT&T Wireless 4G is available across the vast majority of the US. The AT&T Wireless 4G coverage map is as follows.

AT&T Wireless 4G Availability

For 5G, things are a little different as it’s such a new technology. You’ll only be able to get 5G in the following states.

AT&T Wireless 5G Availability

AT&T Wireless International Calling

If you haven’t opted for the AT&T Wireless Unlimited Premium plan, you’ll need to pay for your international calls. 

But the good news is that AT&T is one of the best out there for international calling. And customers have a few options as to how to go about it.

Firstly, there’s the ‘International Pass’. This costs $10 per day, and it allows Wireless customers to make international calls, send international texts and use international data unlimitedly across over 210 destinations.

If you prefer, you can add ‘International Calling’ to your account for $15 per month. This allows for unlimited calls to over 85 countries and reduced rates to over 140.

There’s also the option of the AT&T Cruise Packages which start at $50. They’ll get you talk, text and data on over 175 cruise ships around the world.

If you don’t want to go for a bundle, there are a variety of pay per use rates. Here’s a quick look at them [3]:

TypeLocationCost
TalkCanada and Mexico$1 per minute
TalkEurope$2 per minute
TalkRest of World, Cruise Ships and Airlines$3 per minute
Text (SMS)Worldwide$0.50 per message
Text (Pictures and Videos)Worldwide$1.30 per message
DataWorldwide and Cruise Ships$2.05 per MB
DataAirlines$10.24 per MB

These are actually some of the best rates we’ve come across for international calling. So, if you’re looking to make a lot of calls abroad, AT&T Wireless might be the right network for you.

How to Sign Up for AT&T Wireless

Liking the sound of AT&T Wireless? There are a couple of different ways to get started with them.

Online

Signing up with AT&T Wireless online is probably the easiest way of doing things. All you need to do is head over to the website then select the plan you’re looking for.

You’ll find a button that says “Get Started”. Hit this, then press the “Join AT&T” button in the pop-up box that appears. 

Choose the amount of lines that you wish to add, then find what you’re looking for and follow the instructions on screen. Then, all you need to do is check out and AT&T will get you set up.

If you feel like you need more assistance while going through this, you can always reach out to AT&T customer service for a helping hand. To find out how to do this, check out our guide

In Store

For further support, you can always sign up for AT&T Wireless in one of their stores. Fortunately, these stores are situated throughout the US, so you should never be too far away from one.

You’ll likely need a credit card, your bank details and possibly some photo ID with you to do this. So, make sure you have those at hand when you go into the store.

AT&T Wireless FAQ

Here’s some of the most frequently asked questions regarding AT&T Wireless and the answers to them.

Is it cheaper to take a device plan out or to finance a phone separately?

The answer to this question really varies from device to device and from plan to plan. We recommend doing the homework to find out how much money you can save either way. 

It should also be noted that it’s going to be easier for your billing if you stick to the one direct debit as opposed to financing separately. It could also affect your credit score if you apply for too many financial products.

Can I haggle with AT&T to get a better deal?

AT&T does have the option to reduce their Wireless plans in specific circumstances, so it could be worth a try in order to get a better deal. We can’t guarantee that this will always work though!

Will I need to pay a fee to get out of my AT&T Wireless contract early?

If you’ve committed to a contract that lasts for more than one month, there will be fees that apply if you want to get out of it early. To find out more about those fees, take a look at this article

Wrapping Up on AT&T Wireless

There’s no surprise that AT&T Wireless is one of the most popular cell phone networks in the US. They have great availability, plenty of handsets and some top deals for various people.

While some of their plans can be a little expensive, AT&T Wireless does offer good value for money for the most part. So, you could do a lot worse than sign up for a cell phone plan with them.

Just make sure you do your homework to find out which is the best plan, and consider the other providers before you go for it. You could end up saving yourself a lot of money if you choose to take the time to do this.

And remember, you can save further money if you choose to bundle AT&T Wireless with one of their internet plans. So, if you’re in the market for a new internet provider as well, this could be a great combo.

You can find out more about AT&T Internet here




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Unlimited Extra

$75/mo. for a single line, $35/mo. for 6+ lines
$ 75 Monthly
  • 50GB Premium data
  • 15 GB hotspot data
  • US, Mexico and Canada
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